Cerebral blood flow and metabolism during cardiopulmonary bypass

R. M. Schell, F. H. Kern, W. J. Greeley, S. R. Schulman, P. E. Frasco, N. D. Croughwell, M. Newman, J. G. Reves

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136 Scopus citations


Although much has been learned about cerebral physiology during CPB in the past decade, the role of alterations in CBF and CMRO2 during CPB and the unfortunately common occurrence of neuropsychologic injury still is understood incompletely. It is apparent that during CPB temperature, anesthetic depth, CMRO2, and PaCO2 are the major factors that effect CBF. The systemic pressure, pump flow, and flow character (pulsatile versus nonpulsatile) have little influence on CBF within the bounds of usual clinical practice. Although cerebral autoregulation is characteristically preserved during CPB, untreated hypertension, profound hypothermia, pH-stat blood gas management, diabetes, and certain neurologic disorders may impair this important link between cerebral blood flow nutrient supply and metabolic demand (Figure 5). During stable moderate hypothermic CPB with α-stat management of arterial blood gases, hypothermia is the most important factor altering cerebral metabolic parameters. Autoregulation is intact and CBF follows cerebral metabolism. Despite wide variations in perfusion flow and systemic arterial pressure, CBF is unchanged. Populations of patients have been identified with altered cerebral autoregulation. To what degree the impairment of cerebral autoregulation contributes to postoperative neuropsychologic dysfunction is unknown. It must be emphasized that not the absolute level of CBF, but the appropriateness of oxygen delivery to demand is paramount. However, the assumption that the control of cerebral oxygen and nutrient supply and demand will prevent neurologic injury during CPB is simplistic (90). A better understanding of CBF, CMRO2, autoregulation and mechanism(s) of cerebral injury during CPB has lead to a scientific basis for many of the decisions made regarding extracorporeal perfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-865
Number of pages17
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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